Eye drops designed for ocular allergies can provide relief from bothersome symptoms. They may also take some time to work.
For individuals with sensitivities to drops, or the components in them, the eye may feel strange when the drops are used. If there is more than just temporary, mild burning, or stinging, the drops may need to be discontinued. Always check with your doctor before starting or stopping any eye medications.
Some eye drops for allergies contain benzalkonium chloride (BAK), a preservative that can be harmful to the eye. (BAK is also used as a preservative in OTC lubricating drops and ointments. View our list of commonly available Lubricating Drops and Ointments to see which of these products contain BAK).
If you experience stinging when using eye drops for your allergies, see how to instill drops for tips on how to prevent stinging when using eye drops.
Pataday Solution (olopatadine HCL) is an over-the-counter drop used to treat ocular itching associated with eye allergies. The recommended dose is one drop in each affected eye once a day for Pataday Once Daily Relief 0.2%, or twice a day for Pataday Twice Daily Relief 0.1%. For more information, see prescribing information.
Stronger than Pataday, Lastacaft is approved to prevent itching due to eye allergies. It works in as fast as 3 minutes, and prevents itchy eyes for up to 16 hours.
The most common eye-related side effects that were reported in less than 4% of LASTACAFT treated eyes were: eye irritation, burning and/or stinging in the eyes after use, eye redness, and eye itching.
The most common non–eye-related side effects that were reported in less than 3% of patients were: inflammation of the nose and the upper part of the throat, headache, and the flu.
For more information, see prescribing information.
Zaditor is an antihistamine OTC eye drop that contains no vasoconstrictors. It works in minutes to deliver up to 12 hours of eye itch relief.
Other eye drops for allergies:
BEPREVE (bepotastine besilate ophthalmic solution) 1.5%
Zerviate™ (cetirizine) Ophthalmic Solution